Thursday, 24 May 2012

Reflections on EBBC12


Well, it has been, gone and the recovery period is complete - more or less. The European Beer Bloggers Conference didn't change my life, but it did give me a chance to mix with some of the leading lights of UK beer blogging, as well as some of the old lags, the up and coming and wannabees, old friends (and new) and a chance to compare and contrast.

There was a lot of beer, not all of it wonderful, but none of it bad. There was a lot of thoughtfulness and some bollocks, but above all there was a sense of solidarity and mutual support which was pleasing, though if you bring a lot of like or at least similarly minded people together, that's maybe not so surprising. There were some interesting insights about such things as free beer (most can live with that, though not all). There was reticence about "naming and shaming" when beer or pubs are bad, there was geekery and exotic beer seeking, there was hero worship and self deprecation, humour and general good naturedness and above all a sense of tolerance, respect and support, which actually was a little touching. Not much to dislike at all.

In terms of the sessions, I found the "hands on" stuff best. The tasting session on how the same beers tasted different in different glasses was hardly new to me - I'm a self confessed glass snob - but really, if that didn't convince you that scratched old half pint nonics are completely wrong for most beers, then really, you are in the wrong game. The live speed blogging, where brewers had five minutes to go round each of ten tables, pouring and describing their beer, which could then be immediately tweeted or blogged about was tremendous fun. The brewers were enthusiastic, knowledgeable and great exponents of their beers, though to my mind, where a PR company or someone from the marketing department was used, that wasn't quite as good. There really is little substitute for knowing your stuff. It was breathless, got everyone talking and afterwards a chat to the brewers was a great wind down.

Other bloggers have described the dinners - both fantastic fun, though if pushed I'd say I enjoyed the chance to drink some 4% unfiltered Pilsner Urquell marginally better than drinking triple and quadruple beers, washed own by White Shield and I certainly left the latter a darn sight more sober than the first. And I felt better the next day, so that's what's shaded it for me, though I have to say the beers from Sharps were really rather good. (OK not the turbo yeast thingy, but otherwise.)

The more I look back on it all, the more I realise I had a great time and as always while the beer helped of course, it was people that made it what it was. So thanks to my blogging colleagues, the sponsors without whom we'd have been very thirsty indeed and to the organisers. No mean feat pulling it all togther.

Let's do it again sometime.

I was able to confirm another beery dislike to go along with rauchbier. Beer aged in whisky casks. Not for me at all.

13 comments:

Cooking Lager said...

Glad you had a good time matey. Did you have to go along with the live blogging, was it compulsary, like? Or could you just enjoy the free grog and get quietly pissed?

Steve Lamond said...

@Cookie plenty of people didn't blog... was entirely up to the individual!

Ed said...

I still don't get why it's EBBC12.

Steve Lamond said...

@Ed European Beer Bloggers Conference 2012

Ed said...

Thanks Steve!

Tandleman said...

Cookie - I drank the grog and tweeted about each beer. It was fun to join in.

RedNev said...

I'm glad you enjoyed it. More of a convention than a conference, though.

RedNev said...

"scratched old half pint nonics are completely wrong for most beers" - funny then that nonics are all you can see in the picture of the drinks table.

Erlangernick said...

If I re-start my beer blog, can I come next year? Want to try that 4% Pilsner Urquell. Of course, I could just drive over to the brewery in 3 hours or so...

On glasses. How much of http://www.craftbeer.com/pages/beerology/the-right-glass is bollocks? I actually love trans-global half-IPA in an "Irish imperial pint" glass myself.

Tandleman said...

Can't be arsed reading it, but generally if you put the beer in a decent glass, it tastes better.

Take Germany. Pilsner style beer in the North does not taste as good in these thick walled mugs they use compared to a tall thin walled glass from the South. Thick walls and rims, while practical for pubs are not the best way to display most beers.

Tandleman said...

Nev: They weren't nonics.

Erlangernick said...

So how good do you reckon Roppelt's Kellerbier would taste in a pint glass, snifter, or Pils glass? Better than in the standard Steinkrug?

Last weekend's visit to the Griess Keller saw herself being profusely apologised to for the Steinkrug(s) being all out and having to take the pale, malty, hoppy Kellerbier in a glass Masskrug. Was nice to see how murky the beer was. Tasted a bit better too. Or that was due to it being the second litre of the day.

Kavey said...

Was a pleasure to meet you, Pete. Enjoyed the weekend immensely. Am just writing up my EBBC post now, have chosen to write up the Spiegelau session as for me, was a real highlight of the agenda.